Bahrain will see the opening of 15 new hotels and beachfront resorts by 2020 – representing a total investment of more than $10 billion.
New arrivals include global hotel brands such as One&Only, Wyndham, Fairmont, Vida, The Address, Ibis and Pullman.
Bahrain already has more than 190 hotels and resorts, and the extra developments are expected to increase hotel capacity by about 4,000 hotel rooms by 2020.
The kingdom will see another boost to its profile next year when its second largest island, Muhurraq, becomes the Islamic Cultural Capital 2018.
Once the centre of the world’s pearl trade, Muhurraq will be crowned the Arab region’s Islamic Cultural Capital to recognise the conservation work being done on the island – most notably with the UNESCO World Heritage Pearling Trail due for completion in 2018.
The trail earned UNESCO World Heritage status four years ago and encompasses 17 listed buildings, including a fortress, residences of wealthy merchants and a mosque.
The Bahrain National Museum covers 4,000 years of Bahraini history, while Beit Al Quran – meaning the ‘House of Quran’ – celebrates Islamic art, from stained glass to religious verses inscribed onto a grain of rice.
Bahrain’s tourism is being further buoyed by developments in the cruise industry.
The destination’s Khalifa Bin Salman Port received 32 calls in 2015 and it is expected to have received 40 by the end of 201.
P&O will base one of its Oceana cruises in the Arabian Gulf for a programme of five 10-night cruises between January and March 2019.
The kingdom is becoming increasingly well known for its café culture, most notably at Block 338, a trendy pedestrian quarter crammed with cafés, restaurants and art galleries.
These and other developments will be promoted at World Travel Market London by the
Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority (BTEA).